June 2019 Book Haul

Haul6

Hey, friends! June was a wild month for me! I was so blessed and privileged to be able to go to Book Expo and Book Con, where I received so many books which will shape my content for the rest of the year! But I also was sent a few more, and purchased a few more, too!

➽ PURCHASED BOOKS: 
Fix Her Up | Review: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
RWBY Anthology
Her Royal Highness
Love From A to Z
A Lesson in Thorns
The Modern Faerie Tales

➽ PURCHASED EBOOKS:
Cherry Pie | Review: ⭐⭐
The Queen of Dauphine Street | Review: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Hilariously Ever After
The Friend Zone | Review: ⭐⭐
Getaway Girl | Review: ⭐⭐⭐⭐
Runaway Girl | Review: ⭐⭐⭐
Halfway Girl | Review: ⭐⭐⭐
The Major’s Welcome Home | Review: ⭐⭐

➽ ARCS:
Beyond the Black Door
Faker
The Wives
Ghosts of the Shadow Market | Review: ⭐⭐⭐⭐


Okay, that’s everything I think! I did link my Book Expo and Book Con haul down below this, if you would like to see that video, too! Did you get any exciting books this month? Let me know! And I hope you’re all having the happiest of reading!

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A Lesson in Thorns (Thornchapel, #1) by Sierra Simone

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“Thornchapel knows my name and the crooked corners of my heart, and it wants me to make promises that I’m going to keep.”

Okay, I’m just going to be real with you all, if you love The Secret History, If We Were Villains, and/or Strange Grace, but wish they were all more sexually explicit? Then this is the book for you. This book is a love letter to polyamory, without ever using the word. This is f/f, m/m, m/f, and a whole lot of sexual group scenes. The atmosphere of all three of those books are the same, and a work of magic that most writers cannot craft, but Sierra Simone delivers and gave me a story that I’ve been waiting for what feels like my whole life for.

This is ownvoices for the queer representation and the narcolepsy representation. I only recall the word bisexual used once by one character (Beckett), but besides that bisexual or pansexual is never used on page (even though, if pansexual is used on page in book two, you will hear me screaming all the way from Vegas, this I swear), but all six characters express sexual attraction to multiple genders, and the author is bisexual. I have seen reviews that state all six characters are bi, but I just believe in my heart that there is no way that all six MGA (multiple gender attraction) characters are bisexual, I’m sorry. And if so, that’s not too inclusive and my pan-self wouldn’t want to read it, to be real honest with you all.

A Lesson in Thorns is a story that follows six characters who stayed at a remote manor, that is falling down, but is filled with secrets, called Thornchapel when they were young. The prologue of this book (which I really recommend you read on Amazon) shows them in the run-down chapel on the estate, where they are performing a fake marriage. And unexpectedly, the bride ends up marrying two grooms. Yet, the actual story starts out many years later, where all six of them are adults, but they all have returned to Thornchapel for one reason or another.

“I want him to be mine. Or I want to deny him the right to ever call me his. I want to heal him and I want to hurt him. All because of one broken kiss.”

Auden – The heir. Pan or bi, and owner of Thornchapel.

Prosperpina/Poe – The dreamer. Pan or bi, narcoleptic, total submissive, and just took a job at Thornchapel in the library, but she is secretly trying to figure out what happened to her mother after a mysterious note is sent to her.

Becket – The priest. Bisexual, and living his life for God.

Rebecca – The genius. Pan or bi, Black, and the Dom of my dreams.

Delphine – The socialite. Pan or bi, plus-sized, Instagram famous, and engaged to Auden.

St. Sebastian – The saint. Pan or bi, biracial (white and Mexican), and feels like he ruins all the lives that he touches.

“he wanted to shelter them from the rain and force them to kneel in the mud too, and he didn’t know what it meant or why it was happening”

And when these six characters get together, and get to re-know each other, secrets unfold and lives change. Even though Poe is the main character, each of these individuals feels completely fleshed out, and each are on their own personal journeys toward happiness, even if the road is very bumpy to get there.

But this is ultimately a book about finding yourself and your acceptance and happiness, even if it feels like your life has already been decided for you, regardless of your wishes and wants. It also showcases the importance of friendships and romantic relationships, and how sometimes those lines can blur, and sometimes they don’t, but sometimes they become something more. Also, I am just really into polyamorous stories right now, and I think that this one is really beautifully done, especially with the chilling atmosphere that leaves so much mystery in the air. This story is truly has so many compelling elements, it was just impossible to put down.

I also want to briefly mention that I really love and value the discussion this book has about the concept of virginity, and what a stupid pedestal so many people place it on. Also, how virginity (and losing it) can mean so much more than a penis going inside a vagina. I really loved how this book handled that, and I love how it completely shattered the stereotype of what it means to lose your virginity. Be still, my queer heart.

Overall, I just love Sierra Simone and I have enjoyed everything I’ve read from her, but A Lesson in Thorns is for sure my favorite. This is such an inclusive novel, from race, sexuality, and social and economic standings. This book also talks about reclaiming your body after someone takes a piece of it, while also discussing that there are so many ways to heal from loss and hurt. And I just think it is so wonderfully done, on top of being one of the sexiest things I’ve read all year. Like, I will never be the same after that spin the bottle scene, holy shit. But I absolutely cannot wait to read Feast of Sparks this summer.

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Content and trigger warnings talk of rape and assault in the past, abandonment, and loss of a loved one.

I read this for #smutathon, which is being hosted by Lainey and Riley! ❤

Buddy read with Riley, Jane, & Paloma! ❤

[EDIT:] Yes, I did drop my rating to four stars. I emailed the author and she was very kind and very respectful, but she did confirm that all six of these characters are for sure bi “but not deeply tied to their labels” for this entire series. I’m going to be probably a little too real with you, but this has been a really rough Pride for me in the book world. In my real life, I am so lucky to be accepted and supported as a pansexual and panromantic woman, but the book world constantly makes me feel like I’m a lesser version of bi and I can’t take it any longer. The fact that I am forced to try so very hard to see myself in literature, to force myself in cutouts that apparently weren’t made for me, and just knowing that authors could so easily give me a breadcrumb of representation without having to do any work what so ever, yet here I am crying over a romance book that refuses to acknowledge my queer existence once again. I’m just tired friends, and I’m fed up, and I can’t believe that I’ve still only read the word pansexual on page in about ten books for my entire life, when I read and review 100+ books a year. I’m sick of being erased, I’m sick of being not enough, and I can’t wait for the day when pan kids don’t have to figure out what pansexual and panromantic mean in their 20’s, because the book world proves over and over that we aren’t worth the representation and that bisexual and biromantic should always be the default for multiple gender attraction characters.

Fix Her Up (Hot and Hammered #1) by Tessa Bailey

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“Dammit, Georgie. You had to be exactly what I need, didn’t you?”

Best romance of 2019? Probably. Holy shit, friends, Fix Her Up blew me and every expectation I had out of the water. I will say, don’t let the *cute* cover fool you, this book has many explicit sex scenes, but it was some of the best sex, and best dirty talk, I’ve ever read in my entire life. BRB, buying everything Tessa Bailey has ever written.

But this is a story about two people who grew up in the same small town together. But when one comes back five years later, they both realize that maybe they can build a happier future with help from the other one.

Georgette Castle – 23, An actual clown for children’s birthday parties, and the baby of her family, and they always let her know it by never taking her seriously, no matter what she does.

Travis Ford – 28, Newly retired professional baseball player, because of an injury. But now he is very much struggling to be more than just a baseball player, especially after moving back to his hometown.

Both Georgie and Travis want to be taken more seriously, and they want to be more than the expectations that are already placed upon them. So they strike up a friendship agreement, that starts off with a few meals, some cleaning, and a fireplace, but eventually becomes a full on fake-dating element so they can change what people think of them. Travis wants desperately to look more wholesome to the press so that he can get a job he wants, and Georgie wants people to see her as more than a innocent comic-relief.

And obviously sex has to be completely off-limits, especially since Georgie is a virgin. Which is something that they both start to find difficult, yet Travis starts to realize that he might not want to be a steppingstone for Georgie. Meanwhile, Georgie knows that she wants things in life that Travis doesn’t want to give her. And, Lord, the angst is real, but it’s perfect, and I was living my best life watching these two also figure out how to deal with their attraction.

Also, another reason this book means a lot to me is because of the story as to why I picked it up. Basically, me and three of my best friends have a group chat that we constantly talk in throughout the day, and Chelsea set that group chat on fire describing the first sexual encounter in this book. So immediately, me, and Jane, and Madalyn all went and bought the audiobook. And we all listened together, updating swooning constantly, at our very different workplaces, and I will remember and cherish that experience forever. Fuck, my friends are the best, truly.

Overall, this book was just perfect in my eyes, and I completely expect it to make my best of 2019 list come December. The dirty talk was 11/10, the actual sex scenes were 11/10, and this was maybe the best fake dating setting I’ve ever read in my life. I am now obsessed with Tessa Bailey, and I feel so blessed that I am able to read her entire backlist now.

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Content and trigger warnings for abandonment and an emotionally abusive parent.

Buddy read with Chelsea, Jane, & Madalyn! ❤

 

Top Ten Tuesday | Books On My Summer 2019 TBR

TopTenTuesday
Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018!


I cannot even begin to express to you how happy I am that is is Summer! I truly cannot wait to relax and just read all of the things that I am able to get my hands on! Most of you know that I just got home earlier this month from NYC, where I attended Book Expo and Book Con, and I was privileged enough to haul so many books! Therefore, most of this list is going to be able the ten ARCS from that convention that I hope to get to this summer!


Mooncakes by Suzanne Walker & Wendy Xu 


➽ Dear Haiti, Love Alaine by Maika Moulite & Maritza Moulite


No Ivy League by Hazel Newlevant


The Escape Room by Megan Goldin


The Beautiful (The Beautiful #1) by Renée Ahdieh


The Starless Sea by Erin Morgenstern


Winterwood by Shea Ernshaw


The Tea Dragon Festival (Tea Dragon #2) by Katie O’Neill


Twice in a Blue Moon by Christina Lauren


Permanent Record by Mary H.K. Choi



Okay, loves! Those are the ten ARCs I picked, but obviously I hope to read many more! If there is one here that you would like me to prioritize, please let me know! And I’m wishing you all the happiest of reading this Summer and forever and always! 💕

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2019 Mid-Year Book Freak Out Tag

MidYearBookTag
The original tag was created by ReadLikeWildfire and Earl Grey Books!


Happy summer, loves! I can’t believe we are already half way through 2019! It is truly and utterly wild! But what better way to celebrate than to do one of my favorite posts of the entire year? 💛☀

So far in 2019, I’ve read 72 books and, thanks to the amazing Brock at Let’s Read, here are some other statistics that I was able to gather from his amazing spreadsheet:













Okay, but now let’s get into the actual tag, where I’m talking about the best books that I’ve read so far in 2019! Also, I made a point to only use each book one time, or else you would be looking at Gideon the Ninth over and over again! And I only used 2019 releases, since that is the majority of what I’ve been reading this year anyways! 💗


➽ 1. Best book you’ve read so far in 2019:
Gideon the Ninth (The Ninth House #1) by Tamsyn Muir


➽ 2. Best sequel you’ve read so far in 2019:
Holy Sister (Book of the Ancestor #3) by Mark Lawrence


➽ 3. New release you haven’t read yet, but want to:
The Priory of the Orange Tree by Samantha Shannon


➽ 4. Most anticipated release for the second half of the year:
The Queen of Nothing (The Folk of the Air #3) by Holly Black


➽ 5. Biggest disappointment:
Waiting for Tom Hanks by Kerry Winfrey


➽ 6. Biggest surprise:
If I’m Being Honest by Emily Wibberley & Austin Siegemund-Broka


➽ 7. Favorite new author (debut or new to you):
Red, White & Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston


➽ 8. Newest fictional crush:
A Lesson in Thorns (Thornchapel #1) by Sierra Simone
I mean, all the characters, but Auden in particular! 


➽ 9. Newest favorite character:
Magpie in You Must Not Miss by Katrina Leno


➽ 10. Book that made you cry:
The Weight of the Stars by K. Ancrum


➽ 11. Book that made you happy:
The Shadowglass (The Bone Witch #3) by Rin Chupeco


➽ 12. Most beautiful book you’ve bought so far this year (or received):
The Red Scrolls of Magic (The Eldest Curses #1) by Cassandra Clare & Wesley Chu


➽ 13. What book do you need to read by the end of the year?:
Ninth House (Alex Stern #1) by Leigh Bardugo


➽ 14. Favorite book community member:
I mean, this is the hardest question. I am so thankful for everyone who I am able to call my friend in this community, and all the unconditional support and love you all show me, especially with me taking on BookTube this year! I think I’m actually going to do a Goodreads Reviewer Shout Out very soon on my channel, since *cries forever* I just hit 50k on Goodreads, which I still am completely shocked over. But if you are taking the time to read this, to like this, to comment on this, you’re my favorite book community member, and I am so very lucky to have you on my blog. Thank you. And I love you!



Okay, I think that’s it! I hope you all enjoyed! This is truly my favorite tag ever, and I look forward to doing it every year! If you would like to see, HERE is my 2018 tag and HERE is my 2017 tag! And I’m already looking forward to what 2020 is going to bring! I love you all so much! Happy reading! 💗

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Summerathon TBR | 2019


Hey, friends! I know my Spring was rather wild due to traveling, but I hope my Summer is a little more relaxed, with a lot more reading getting done! Hopefully, you know that I am cohosting a readathon, called Summerathon, that starts tomorrow! And that hopefully doesn’t feel too exclusionary for my Southern Hemisphere friends (seriously, please join us)! I am really going to try to incorporate all the ARCs that I can into this TBR, because I very much need to read them and I have some pretty exciting ARCs that fit a little too perfectly for some of these challenges! 🌞


1. A Beachy Read:
this can be either a book set at the beach or just a book think would be perfect to read on the beach or poolside.

No Judgments (Little Bridge Island #1) by Meg Cabot
Okay, this one is a little bit of a stretch, but it totally counts, because the main character is going to the Florida Keys to spend some time by herself after she loses someone who she was close with. So, obviously there are going to be beaches! But… in this book she is trying to rescue animals before maybe evacuating because of a very dangerous hurricane! So… this is going to be a unique twist on a beachy read! But I’m here for it!


2. Sunrise colors on the cover:
pink, orange, yellow, purple, blue…really, there are so many directions to go for this.

With the Fire on High by Elizabeth Acevedo
(Buddy read with Jocelyn!)
I mean, I truly don’t think that there is a better book to use for colors of a sunrise, but I am extra excited to read this one because so many of my dear friends have absolutely loved it! I am beyond hyped, truly!


3. Book with a roadtrip, traveling, or vacation

10 Blind Dates by Ashley Elston
A Christmas read in June? Why not. It’s honestly my brand’s type of chaos. I am honestly only reading this one because I want to send it off to a dear friend upon finishing, because it is one of her favorite authors of all-time! But this honestly seems like it’s going to be the perfect contemporary, and I’m so very excited!


4. Book set in the summer

Say You Still Love Me by K.A. Tucker
(Buddy read with Amy, Jen, & Heather)
Okay, I know this one has flashbacks to the main characters’ summer camp counseling days! So, I might be stretching this one a little bit, but I knew I had to incorporate this book somehow into my TBR!


5. Food on the cover (Or drink! Make it your own!)

Well Met by Jen DeLuca
(Buddy read with Alexa & Riley!)
There is totally a wine goblet and a turkey leg on this cover! Right? Right! This book actually works for a lot of prompts because it is a book set in the summer time at a Renaissance Faire! I also think it’s kind of enemies to lovers, where the people don’t like each other out of the faire, but the characters they play inside the grounds really like each other? And that sounds so unique and I am so ready for it!


6. Drink your favorite summertime drink while reading!
Okay, you all know I don’t really drink that much! And obviously this prompt doesn’t have to be alcoholic in the slightest! But I think I’m going to try something new, or create something new, during my Summerathon Reading Vlog! So keep an eye out!


Bonus!

I am also in SUCH a graphic novel mood, currently! And, let’s be real, this TBR isn’t near queer enough for a June readathon! So, I hope to get to one or all three of these during this readathon week, too! And I’m so excited! 💖


Okay, that’s my TBR! Let me know if you are participating and, if so, what you are reading! Also, make sure you follow the instagram and twitter and use #summerathon so we can see and boost your photos, TBRs, and wrap ups! Happy reading, loves!

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THE DATES:
June 21 – June 27


THE HOSTS:
Amy @ A Court of Crowns and Quills

Jen @ Pinot and Pages

Heather @ Bookables

Aimee @ Aimee Reads